Rumor: Is the BMW M1 back in play?

Rumors | September 23rd, 2009 by 20
car photo 333277 25 750x500

Rumor of the day, Autoexpress UK opens with the following headline: BMW’s M1 is back!According to our UK fellows, the new M1 is based on the recently unveiled BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept and it will launch in 2012.

The M1 is rumored to have ultra-low ride height, active aerodynamics and an aggressive rear end, similar to the Vision Concept. Inside, the two-plus-two seating will remain intact, but latest gadgetry will be incorporated: digital dash, multimedia connectivity and an advanced version of the the iDrive.

The focus of the new BMW M1 will be on performance and efficiency, even if some comfort levels will need to be sacrificed.

car photo 333277 25 655x436As far as power, the engine seen in the Vision Concept will power the new M1: the 3-cylinder 1.5-litre hybrid engine with electric motors.

AutocarExpress says that “to make the most of this raw speed, the M1 will be equipped with BMW’s Air Curtain system. This arrangement channels airflow through the front bumper and out ahead of the front wheels. It reduces turbulence in the wheelarches and cuts the car’s drag coefficient to 0.22Cd – the lowest of any BMW. Subtle folds in the bodywork will also create downforce without the need to use large spoilers.”

One of their sources also confirmed our previous statements, the new hybrid engine is virtually production ready, along with the DCT gearbox already used in the M3. ““Our DCT gearbox – already available in the M3 – offers quick shifts, and the new car’s chassis is a piece of art. Crucially, it’s ready for the road.”

The source also suggested that this will an Audi R8 rival, so prices are expected to be in the same range.

Our take on this: for months now, BMW has denied the future plans of an M1 vehicle, sources close to the company said that a 135i Supersport version, with M1-like characteristics, will be available in the near future. Recently, there have been more news regarding a future Z model based on the Vision Concept, some mentioning a Z2, Z9 or even Z10 roadster. At this point, we can’t really speculate further, we’re trying to see if we can shed some light on this, so we will let you know as soon as we hear something.

It is also known that, in the past, BMW has drastically changed their future plans, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the widely positive press and reactions the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept received, might have influenced their decision to build an M1 supercar.

[Source: AutoExpress ]